• Site Descriptions and Page Titles are Important
Probably the single most important thing you can do to make sure that your pages get catalogued properly by search engines is to put a proper title on every page of your site. Many times this is overlooked by web designers and site owners, but the right titles can really help your site’s ranking on the search engines.
How do you develop a good page title? The best place to start is by developing appropriate keywords or phrases for your page. These are terms that someone might use to search for your site in a search engine. Once you have those terms and phrases developed you can come up with a page title using them. The page title should have no more than 60 letters and spaces. You can also come up with a description for the page using the terms you’ve developed. The description should contain no more than 150 letters and spaces, and it should not simply re-state your page title.
• Optimizing Your Copy for Search Engines
Keywords in the site’s metatags (code that is hidden in the head area of the web page) are not as important as they once were in search engine optimization, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them. Your keywords/phrases should certainly be incorporated into your page’s copy. Unfortunately there is a lot of competition on the internet, especially for individual words. Imagine looking up the term “basket” on Google. You’d get all kinds of baskets, and many pages of related links. If you narrow that term to “fruit baskets” you’d find much more specific listings. If you search for “Christmas fruit baskets” you’d narrow your search even further.
Similarly, you as a web site owner must develop keywords and phrases, page titles and descriptions that will help the search engines to find your site when searches are done for related items. Just pulling these terms out of your page copy or out of thin air is not the best approach, either. As with any marketing materials, just because you think it will work doesn’t necessarily mean it will work. There are methods of testing keywords and phrases to see how often they are sought in the search engines and how much competition there is for those terms on the net. These tools can help you to choose the terms that are most likely to bring traffic your way.
Limit the number of keywords and phrases to those few that are most important. It is no longer a good thing to have tons of keywords.
• Optimal Optimization
The very best way to go about search engine optimization would be to first develop a list of keywords and phrases related to your product or service that would be the most likely to bring you traffic. Then you could develop your page copy using those keywords and phrases. The following tips should be kept in mind when developing the copy:
- The sentences on your page need to make sense to the reader, and then they will be acceptable to the search engines as well.
- Use your keywords near the top and bottom of the page, if possible, as well has having them sprinkled throughout the page.
- Don’t make it seem clumsy to the reader, though. Use the keywords as much as possible without it seeming odd or weird in the way it reads. The sentences should make sense grammatically.
- Some search engines will take the first few words on your page and use that as your description on their pages. For that reason, among others, you want to make that first part say something especially meaningful so it would attract viewers.
- Each paragraph should ideally contain 3 to 4 sentences.
- Put your most important information near the top of the page, as visitors may not read all the way to the bottom.
- It’s better to have about 200 or so words of copy if you can.
- It’s best to have headers and have the page broken up into digestible segments, too. Keywords should be used in the headers.
• Site Maps
Site maps can help your site get a favorable listing on search engines. These are pages that show all the links on your site and allow the search engine spiders to quickly catalogue your offerings.
• Search Engine Optimization is a Dance
Search engine optimization is a constantly changing field. As the technology has improved, search engines are able to “crawl” sites more effectively to determine how they should be listed. The search engines, Google in particular, have made frequent changes in their rules to combat “black hat” practices aimed at “tricking” the search engines to obtain high ranking. Keep an eye on your site’s “analytics” is important as is keeping up with the changing field of search engine optimization.